Elgin pupils make the grade with work placement scheme

Elgin Academy headteacher David Barnett, Owen Webster and Robertson Group founder and executive chairman Bill Robertson

BILL Robertson, the executive chairman of Robertson Group, has honoured a 16-year-old Elgin school pupil who has won a work placement initiative after taking part in the Ideal Candidate Programme.

Owen Webster won the Ideal Candidate category at the school’s Senior Phase Awards. The category was created by Robertson to reward S4 pupils for completing a six-week “training arrangement” built around an employability module.

Mr Robertson said, “Self-awareness, confidence and an understanding of employer expectations are what matter most when it comes to impressing an interviewer. Many young people get lost in the detail of an organisation, with some expecting to be grilled on things that apply to a more senior applicant. When you’re coming into any organisation at a foundation level, employers are looking for candidates to display a hunger to learn. That is what sets the go getters apart. The rest you can learn on the job.

“This programme is designed to give students the knowledge they need to prepare for that all important first impression. And it was a real honour to see so many confident participants.”

Students were tasked with considering their digital profile and given interview tips as well as guidance for creating CVs. The applicants spent a week with Robertson on work experience, where they were rotated around different departments to give an overview of the opportunities involved in the construction sector. Each candidate was asked to deliver a 10 minute presentation on what they had learned.

David Barnett, headteacher at Elgin Academy said, “We are delighted with the effect that our partnership with Robertson is having on young people, in helping them to prepare for the world of work and making them work-ready. Owen can feel very proud to be the first recipient of this new award. With several projects having been established, we look forward to the partnership going from strength to strength.”